Simple pulmonary eosinophilia is swelling (inflammation) of the lungs from an increase in eosinophils, a type of white blood cell.
Pulmonary infiltrates with eosinophilia; Loeffler syndrome
Most cases of simple pulmonary eosinophilia are due to an allergic reaction from:
The symptoms can range from none at all to severe. They may go away without treatment.
The health care provider will listen to your chest with a stethoscope. Crackle-like sounds called rales may be heard. Rales suggest inflammation of the lung tissue.
Chest x-ray usually shows abnormal shadows called infiltrates. They may disappear with time or reappear in different areas of the lung.
A bronchoscopy with washing may show a large number of eosinophils.
Gastric lavage may show signs of the Ascaris worm or another parasite.
If you are allergic to a drug, the doctor may tell you to stop taking it. (Never stop taking a medication without first talking with your doctor.)
If the condition is due to an infection, you may be treated with an antibiotic or anti-parasitic medication.
Sometimes, you may need corticosteroids (powerful anti-inflammatory medicines).
The disease often goes away without treatment. If treatment is needed, the response is usually good. However, relapses can occur (the disease comes back).
A rare complication of simple pulmonary eosinophilia is a severe type of pneumonia called acute idiopathic eosinophilic pneumonia.
Cottin V, Cordier JF. Eosinophilic lung diseases. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 61.
McCarthy J, Nutrman TB. Parasitic lung infections. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 37.
Raghu G. Interstitial lung disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 92.